Field-Pea Fried Rice With Eggplant and Peppers 4.000

Marvin Joseph/The Washington Post

Aug 13, 2014

Although any rice will do here, the nuttiness of brown rice works particularly well with the nutty, creamy sweetness of both the peas and the eggplant. If you like a little more heat and can find semi-hot sweet red peppers (like the so-called salsa peppers), use them here in place of some of the sweet peppers. If you prefer milder flavors, cut down on the amount of jalepeño, or leave it out altogether.

Make Ahead: The fried rice can be refrigerated for up to 2 days.

Where to Buy: We found different varieties of field peas, shucked and unshucked, at the Takoma Park Farmers Market on Sundays (Flower of the Forest Farm), the UDC Farmers Market on Saturdays (G. Flores Farm), at Crossroads Farmers Market in Takoma Park on Wednesdays (Musachio Produce) and the FreshFarm Market at Ballston on Thursdays (Pleitez Produce).


Servings:
4

When you scale a recipe, keep in mind that cooking times and temperatures, pan sizes and seasonings may be affected, so adjust accordingly. Also, amounts listed in the directions will not reflect the changes made to ingredient amounts.

Tested size: 4 servings

Ingredients
  • 1 pound slender Asian eggplant
  • 1/4 cup peanut oil or sesame oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 12 ounces sweet red peppers, stemmed, seeded and diced
  • 1 red jalapeño pepper or other hot red chili pepper, seeds and membranes removed for less heat, if desired, diced (optional)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3/4 teaspoon Spanish smoked paprika (pimenton)
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 4 cups cooked day-old rice (see headnote)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked field peas, such as purple-hull or black-eyed, drained well
  • 3 tablespoons minced chives (optional)

Directions

Trim the eggplant and cut it into cubes about 3/4-inch square.

Heat a large, flat-bottomed wok or wide, deep skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon of the oil and swirl to coat; heat for a minute. Add the eggplant pieces and stir to coat. Cook, tossing occasionally, until their edges begin to crisp a little and turn golden, 7 to 10 minutes. Transfer the eggplant to a platter and arrange in a single layer; season with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt.

Return the skillet to medium heat (with whatever oil's in it); add 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of oil; heat for 1 minute. Add the onion and stir to coat; cook for 2 minutes, then add the sweet and hot peppers and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until the onion is translucent and the peppers are picking up a little color around the edges, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the thyme, garlic, smoked paprika and 1/4 teaspoon of the black pepper, and cook for 2 minutes.

Add the rice and 1/4 teaspoon of salt to the onion-pepper mixture in the skillet, stirring until well coated. Cook for about 3 minutes, tossing and folding just occasionally to allow the rice to crisp on the bottom of the pan.

Add the field peas, tossing to incorporate. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, until everything is heated through. Return the cooked eggplant to the pan, gently combine and cook for 1 minute or until just heated through.

Stir in the chives, if using, the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of salt and the remaining 1/4 teaspoon of pepper. Serve hot.

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Recipe Source

From food writer Emily C. Horton.

Tested by Bonnie S. Benwick.

E-mail questions to the Food Section.

E-mail questions to the Food Section at food@washpost.com.